Ali’s a pretty shy little kid around people she doesn’t know, so I figured that she wouldn’t be one of those that was constantly embarrassing me by making loud observations in front of strangers. And I was right, at least about the “constantly” part.
However, we have definitely entered the stage of embarrassment. It all started when she was convinced for so long that I had…twins…in my “tummy”. But since then, it’s blossomed into observations about strangers as well…
(in the parking lot)
“Mommy! That lady has a BIG HUGE baby in her belly!”
“Umm…no she doesn’t honey…here, let’s run this way and duck behind that car over there.”
(in the beauty salon)
“Mommy!! She smiled at me!!”
“Um, that was a man, honey. Sometimes boys have long hair, earrings, and eyeliner, too.”
(in the Target bathroom)
“Mommy, I smell something. I smell something and It smells YUCKY!!!”
You get the idea. All parents go through this, right?
Well, I’ve been compiling a list of helpful tips for parents on how to fight this very disconcerting behavior.
1. Duct Tape.
Pro: I’m pretty sure that it’s child proof and makes a pretty good sound barrier (for especially loud children who need a little extra soundproofing, line the inside of the duct tape with those styrofoam blocks that they use to line music studios).
Con: Those same strangers that your child would have made embarrassing observations about will now be making observations about YOU.
2. Don’t Teach Them To Talk.
Pro: It guarantees saving you from 99% of all embarrassing observations. Of course, there’s still that 1% that involves them touching, rather than talking about, random strangers.
Cons: By the time you realize you should have done this, it’s too late. And even if you DO remember on your third or fourth child that it’d be better if they waited for their common sense to grow in before talking, you may or may not be able to accomplish this difficult feat. My parents swore that they wouldn’t teach my little brother to talk based on the lessons me and my older brother taught them, but he learned anyway, and in an ironical twist of fate, I’m pretty sure that me and my O.B.’s embarrassing moments don’t hold a candle to one day’s worth of L.B.’s moments.
3. Teach your child that strangers are mean, nasty creatures that bite little children if they catch them talking about them.
Pro: It should work for quite some time.
Cons: You may be more embarrassed by the way your child horrifically screams and runs from strangers as if they are ghastly creatures. And, well, the nightmares.
4. Beat them to the punch – go ahead and make the embarrassing observations yourself before your kids have the chance.
Pro: At least you know what’s coming – no surprises.
Con: Your children will only learn from your parental expertise and become even better at it. And, well, the bruises that you’ll get from that lady that does NOT have a baby in her belly will just make it not so worth it after all.
Until I figure out a strategy that works, don’t expect to see me out in public – I’ll be in disguise.
And if you see someone that looks just like me except with a fake looking mustache and glasses on, that’s not me. That’s just my Little Brother. And watch out – he’ll embarrass you.